5 min scallion-fat noodle

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WHEN I’M REALLY BUSY.

THIS IS WHAT I EAT.

  

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Serving: 1

Extremely easy and addictively satisfying, this is a beloved comfort-food in Chinese cuisine, with each region having their own twisted interpretations.  The use of bacon is of course, a Western adaption, but you could also use pancetta or salted pork as substitute.  Whatever you use, you will be amazed at how much flavour and depth you can extract with just these simple ingredients, plus the technique of deeply caramelizing/almost charring the scallions in pork-fat.  It transform the fresh scallion flavour into something, intensely aromatic and worlds-away.

With Asian recipes, I try to provide the exact brand of condiments I used whenever possible.  But this time, I couldn’t find the exact Asian black vinegar I have, so I provided a link to a similar product.  If you already have a favourite brand, or even just regular balsamic vinegar, they should be able to work as good replacement in this particular case.

Thin, fresh Asian noodles work best with this recipe, but if unavailable, dried wheat noodles can work, too.


Ingredients:

  • 1 serving (7 oz/200 grams) of fresh thin Asian noodle, or equivalent amount of dried noodle
  • 2 strips of fatty bacon, thinly sliced
  • 2 large/5 skinny scallions, cut into thin segments
  • 1/2 tsp of ground white pepper, plus more to sprinkle
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp of Asian black vinegar (balsamic vinegar can be a substitute in this particular case)
  • 1/4 tsp of light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of dark soy sauce, for color

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Meanwhile, cook fatty bacon strips in a skillet over medium-high heat, until rendered and browned, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Check if there is about 3 tbsp of bacon fat in the skillet, if not, add more oil to meat 3 tbsp.  Heat the oil over high heat until almost smoking, then add the scallions all at once.  Cook until the scallions are deep-browned and almost burnt (very important in order to get the right flavour), stir in the ground white pepper, then turn off the heat and set aside.  Combine soy sauce, black vinegar, light brown sugar and dark soy sauce in a large bowl.

Cook the noodle according to instructions.  Cooking-time varies, but in general, fresh noodles cook faster than dried noodles.  Drain the cooked noodle and transfer to the bowl with the soy sauce-mixture.  Add the reserved bacon bits, all the caramelized scallions and all its oil.  Sprinkle with a bit more ground white pepper, mix well, and eat immediately.

* The wonderful website surfing in the background is Beth’s Local Milk Retreat.

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25 Comments

  • This sounds amazing, like an Asian version of carbonara without the egg. I also loved your Hokkaido milk bread post and recently posted about it. I’m so glad I discovered your website!

  • Mandy, have you ever tried Dave Chang’s Ginger/Scallion Noodles? These sound like an amped up version of his quick fix meal. // When I make this I might squirt a bit of fish sauce and scattering of sesame seeds. I was really surprised at how well fish sauce and bacon go together.

    • David: I love the flavour of scallion + ginger together. They are definitely a classic Chinese pairing of aromatics, in which the scallions typically aren’t “burnt/cramelized” like this recipe. But scallion-oil noodle / cong-you ban mian / 蔥油拌麵 is kind of like a “thing” in shanghai-nese cuisine, where ginger isn’t used. I’m sure the addition of ginger and fish sauce would make it super awesome as well, but in this case, I’m trying to stay pure to the sole intensity of the burnt scallion. But again, the thing about fast comfort food is really however you’d like to make it, so maybe next time, ginger and fish sauce will be thrown into this dish :)

  • This sounds fantastic and I’d love to try, but I was wondering if you had ideas for a vegetarian alternative! Perhaps that’s wishful thinking, but I’d appreciate any input you may have (not sure if anything in the world can replace bacon). Thanks!

      • My sister-in-law suggested using smoked salt to get bacon flavor when you don’t want to use the bacon. I know you’d still miss the porkiness, but maybe it gets the dish closer?

  • there is nothing more comforting than noodles on a busy night! i love to cook like this, but have never tried charring scallions–sound so amazing…
    and i think i could drink black vinegar it’s so good.

  • I just made this for dinner except I didn’t have any scallions so I used minced shallot and garlic. Oh my goodness…. I have never slurped down a bowl of noodles so quickly in my entire life. My studio apartment still smells of bacon as I text everyone I know to tell them about this dish. I can’t wait to try it with scallions next time since they are my favorite allium!

    Thanks for the great meal!

  • I have fallen head over heels in love with you upon reading the words “It transforms the fresh scallion flavour into something, intensely aromatic and worlds-away.” I crave luscious recipes that are also easy.

  • I made this dish last night and it was SO so good. I doubled the amount of scallions and added a little fish sauce to the sauce. I will definitely be making this again!

  • Can I just tell you, this is the first food blog I have ever read where I find myself wanting to make every recipe. Keep doing what you’re doing. Wishing you the best from SF.

  • I’m a rookie. I just made this and it was glorious and a bit wrong. Going to pass out in bacon fat scallion noodle heaven now.

  • This is delicious..i thought I had many spring green onions and had one..so used red onions..thinly sliced..garlic..and added broccoli.
    This will be one of my go to meals..
    My noodles were different too..the curly asian noodles..but it worked!
    Thank you for this bowl of comfort as the wind blows and the leaves fall~

  • Made this for dinner tonight. All I can say is nomnnomnom!! Could not stop eating this. I added some chopped fresh coriander an basil at the end. Just cause I had it….. love it!!!

  • I’m a total noodle whore so I can’t wait to try this. It looks amazing. I even love to toss together a noodle bowl with egg and kimchi for breakfast!

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